Each area of the United States possesses its own unique qualities and environmental characteristics. This rings true in terms of turfgrass, where native varieties are best suited for the climate. However, there is also a myriad of native insects and pests looking to do damage to your turfgrass. One such insect is the fire ant, which happens to be an omnivore, chewing on you and your lawn. Unlike normal ants, fire ants are a dangerous variety, latching on to humans and stinging them from their abdomen. They inject a toxic venom called solenopsin, which can cause all sorts of health problems. Additionally, they are easily recognized by their signature red color, or the mounds they create in your lawn. Letting fire ants run free is a hazard for both you and your property, so prevention is a must. While they are prominent in the area and are tough to stamp out, here are the best ways to prevent fire ants in Texas.
Fire Ants: General Overview and Identification
Before you begin your prevention efforts, you need to know how to recognize fire ants and their effects. They are red or brown in color and can vary widely in size unlike normal ants, which are uniform in size. Creating fluffy mounds of soil in your lawn, will tear up turf and cause other lawn issues. Fire ants create these mounds when they rise up from the cavernous tunnels where they typically reside. Another indicator is the extreme aggression in their behavior, doing whatever they can to sting you. Their bites can cause intense burning and itching, so it is best to leave hands-on work to the professionals at Higher Ground.
Removing Essential Nutrients
In order to prevent the spread of fire ants, you must remove their sources of nutrients that keep them alive. Fire ants require food, water, and shelter within your property. By removing these resources, fire ants will be less attracted to your property. This means intense sanitation of your property, in a few different ways. Prune shrubs and trees so foliage does not touch your home and rake back landscape bedding to dry out the area closest to your home. Flipping this bedding material every couple of weeks can also be beneficial. Trash is a stable food source for ants, so keep outdoor cans far away from your home, making sure to add a lid. Ammonia solution can also be used to clean out these trash cans, removing any fire ant food source. Mowing grass frequently is another best practice, as they like to hide under the cover of unkempt turf. The less food, water, and shelter that fire ants have available to them, the easier it will be to stamp them out.
Bait: Long Term Solution
For a less intensive control method, bait can be placed on your property to slowly whittle down fire ant populations into submission. The disadvantage here is that removal will take many weeks or even months to work, depending on the bait used. If your fire ant problem is not causing any current issues, this could be for you.
Chemical Mound Treatments
While the best you can do is make your property less of an attraction, fire ants may still be a problem. Mounds are one of the most inconvenient symptoms, with large amounts of fire ants gathered in one place. These ants must be eliminated, lest they bite you, your family, or your animals. Chemical treatment is usually the best option on residential properties when there are less than 20 mounds per acre. Some mounds are hard to access, so alternative methods like bait simply won’t work. Our team at Higher Ground is well experienced in insecticide use, especially in the removal of fire ants. We are more than happy to check out your property, so do not be afraid to give us a call. Leave the chemical use to the professionals for safe and secure application.
Higher Ground Lawn Care and Lighting are ready to take your property to a higher level. Experience why your neighbors and businesses in University Park, TX & surrounding areas choose Higher Ground Lawn Care & Lighting to bring their property to the next level. Contact Us at (682) 206-3596 or check out our website today.